5. The loneliness. It’s hard to connect with other adults, even other moms. It seems like everyone’s got their opinion, and no matter who you talk to, something about what you’ve done or are doing is wrong. So while one comment here and there might not seem like a big deal, comment-after-comment-after-suggestion-after-advice feels a little like stubbing your toe in the same spot over and over and over again.
4. Finding childcare. Not just affordable childcare, but someone capable of keeping all three kids alive, while also able to feed them, entertain them, change them, and get them to nap. (We have an amazing Domestic Executive who I wish we could pay the billions of dollars she deserves).
3. Pretty Much Anything Anyone Else Would Ever Describe as Fun. The Zoo. Classes. Sports. Memberships to things. Money. Time. Babysitters. Nope.
2. Bodies of Water. Three babies + body of water = Ongoing Anxiety Attack.
1. Leaving the house. This is how I leave my house:
- Wake up at 5 or 6 to get drinks and snacks ready and make some kind of breakfast.
- Pick out everyone’s outfits.
- Wait for kids to wake up. When they do, diaper-changing marathon from about 9:00- 11:30.
- Change diapers. Then, usually, change at least one of them again.
- Let them eat while I dress each one.
- Wrestle my daughter to put ponytails in her hair. Which she always pulls out anyway, so I’m not sure why I even try.
- Start transporting to the car. Strap into seats, put cookies, crackers, popcorn, some kind of snack in cupholders.
- Put the baby in the car.
- Go back in the house, reheat coffee, pour in a to-go mug.
- Grab diaper bag, and the extra outfits I forgot to pack. Find some mascara in the bag and make a sad attempt to look less like a zombie.
- Go out to car.
- Once we get where we are going, unload unfathomably long double stroller. First: put the baby in because she can’t move. Then, put the 18-month old in. Then, let the screaming two-year-old out of the car. Push stroller with one hand through the parking lot while holding onto the two-year-old until we get inside.
- Frantically search for accessible entrances with buttons. Trying to hold the door open and push the stroller through is unreasonably difficult.
- Pray to God there are no escalators anywhere. Even if we don’t have to use one, there’s no way I can ride the escalator with the two-year-old with the other two in the stroller.
- Try to make sure nobody is crying for any reason that might include: hunger, diapers, tiredness, loud noises, screens/buttons/toys they can’t touch, other people, temperature change, full moon, Jupiter is in the in the seventh house.
- Stay for about 20 minutes wherever we are, and then leave while other people wonder why I’m out in public with 3 kids under 3 when I can’t possibly watch all of them at the same time.
- Repeat steps 7-11.
- Drive around for as long it takes to finish coffee, hope someone falls asleep.
- Arrive home, unload kids.
- Remove empty cups, bottles, and snacks from car. Just kidding. This never happens.
And then there’s like…that one moment that one of them does something so overwhelmingly cute I could just collapse on the floor. And this list of five things just doesn’t even matter anymore.